Pearl Jam Poster Depicts Cartoon Of Dead Trump, Angers Some Republicans

Aug 15, 2018

Some Republicans are angry with a concert poster by iconic rock band Pearl Jam.

It’s an absurdist cartoon featuring an apocalyptic scene with an eagle picking at the skeleton of President Donald Trump, a UFO and Montana’s Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester flying a tractor over a burning White House.

The poster was created by the band’s bassist, Jeff Ament, and an independent illustrator to advertise a recent show supporting Tester’s reelection.

Lee Banville, a political journalism professor at the University of Montana, couched the image in history.

“Political posters and images have always been really provocative,” he said.

A few years ago, a bullet-riddled outhouse with former President Barack Obama’s name on it made the rounds at Republican gatherings in Montana. More than a century before that, a Montana politician was depicted with a boot up his… well… you know.

“Is the [Pearl Jam poster] in your face? Absolutely,” Banville said. “But it’s not something that’s unheralded or unparalleled in history.”

Tester’s campaign distanced themselves from the Pearl Jam poster, saying it had nothing to do with it. Tester is facing one of the toughest re-election fights in the Mountain West. His opponent, Republican Matt Rosendale, called the artwork an act of violence.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.